Earlier today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5652, the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012, a package of reforms aimed to avert across-the-board cuts to our armed forces and key priorities, reduce the deficit, and foster a better environment for job creation. Replacing the "sequester" with sensible reductions in indefensible government spending would result in net deficit reduction of $242.8 billion according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stated his preference for allowing the sequester to hit unless Washington imposed massive tax increases on working families. Senator Reid's position that the sequester represents a "balanced" approach to deficit reduction puts him at odds with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who has warned that the sequester is "unworkable" and would "hollow out" our armed forces.
Upon passage of H.R. 5652, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin issued the following statement:
"Hardworking families deserve leaders who are willing to meet their legal and moral obligation to prioritize spending within a responsible budget. Earlier this year, the House passed a responsible budget. Today, the House passed a series of common-sense reforms that stop the abuse of public-assistance programs, restrain the bureaucracy's growth, and eliminate wasteful and duplicative spending. The reforms passed today will reduce the deficit by more than 400 percent of the arbitrary sequester cuts they replace.
"The President and his party's leaders are repeating Europe's mistakes by calling for job-crushing tax increases, making empty promises to citizens, and ensuring harsh disruptions for beneficiaries of government programs. Time and again, their approach to budgeting has been the very definition of European-style austerity. House Republicans reject this shrunken vision of our future. Instead of broken promises and shared pain, we must advance pro-growth reforms that make good on America's promise and put the country on a path to prosperity.
"House Republicans took action today to ensure our troops, hardworking taxpayers, and key priorities such as cancer research and border security don't pay the price for Washington's failure to budget responsibly. We invite the President and his party's leaders to join us in our efforts to address the near-term threat of the sequester and to meet the defining challenge of our generation: ensuring greater opportunities for generations to come."
To learn more about the House Republicans' efforts to ensure the troops and military families don't pay the price for Washington's failure to budget responsibly: http://budget.house.gov/Reconciliation/